[Alan Watts] The art of meditation, what it is and how to meditate

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Alan Watts was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker who played a significant role in popularizing Eastern philosophy and spirituality in the West. He was particularly known for his lectures on meditation and mindfulness, which he believed were essential practices for living a fulfilled and meaningful life.

The art of meditation, according to Watts, is the act of letting go of our ego and the need to constantly control and direct our thoughts and actions.

It’s about surrendering to the present moment and letting go of our preconceived notions and expectations about reality. In other words, it’s about being in the flow, rather than trying to force things to happen.

Watts believed that meditation was an art, much like dancing or singing, because it’s about the act itself and not about having a specific goal or purpose. The purpose of meditation is simply to be present and to fully experience each moment as it is.

To meditate properly, Watts suggests that we start by finding a comfortable and quiet place to sit or lie down. We should then focus on our breath and try to let go of our thoughts and distractions. If our mind wanders, we should simply acknowledge the thought and gently bring our focus back to our breath.

It’s important to remember that meditation is not about clearing our minds or achieving a certain state of consciousness.

It’s about being present and aware of our thoughts and emotions without judgment. This can be challenging at first, but with practice, it becomes easier to let go of our ego and to simply be in the present moment.

According to Watts, reality is a construct of human judgment or imagination, much like the way we see a group of stars as a constellation due to our perspective or vantage point. In other words, we assign meaning and significance to things based on our own subjective experience and understanding of the world. This is why it’s important to let go of our preconceived notions and expectations when we meditate, and to simply be present and aware of what is.

In conclusion, the art of meditation, according to Alan Watts, is about letting go of our ego and surrendering to the present moment. It’s about being in the flow and fully experiencing each moment as it is, without judgment or expectation. With practice, we can learn to let go of our ego and to simply be present, which can lead to a sense of peace and fulfillment in our lives.

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